In addition to electing officers, passing a budget and other business, Louisiana Baptists celebrated 250 new church plants since 2010 at their annual meeting Nov. 11-12.
Eddie Wren, LBC president, gave a sermon challenging messengers to wait on the Lord and not lose hope in the current age.
“Though we may be experiencing some difficulties, it’s not the end,” Wren proclaimed. “Don’t give up; don’t give in. Wait on the Lord and in due time He will renew your strength, He will lift you up and He will change your situation. And you will be renewed. You’ll leave the rubble and despair behind and by God’s grace you’ll soar.”
The 2020 financial plan is based on expected contributions of $18,653,700, a year-to-year decrease of $160,118, following three previous consecutive years of annual decreases of at least $535,000 ($693,587 in 2019, $535,426 in 2018 and $550,435 in 2017).
Cooperative Program projections are based on actual receipts from August 2018 through July 2019.
The allocation formula for distributing Cooperative Program gifts remains unchanged with 63.26 percent dedicated to support ministries in the state and 36.74 percent forwarded to fund national entities.
Messengers elected David Cranford, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Ponchatoula, president.
Leroy Fountain, church health strategist for the New Orleans Baptist Association, was re-elected first vice president, and Marc Taylor, a layman from the Cook Baptist Church in Ruston, was elected second vice president.
Fountain and Taylor were elected by acclamation.
Messengers approved four consensus statements — one expressing appreciation to the Randolph Riverfront Center in Alexandria for hosting the annual meeting and to individuals who contributed in important ways to the production of the two day event; one declaring that being transformed from sinner to believer means our “old selves have passed away” as well as our old identity with those sins; and one calling for Louisiana lawmakers “to provide legal relief for churches to allow them the freedom to share information reasonably believed to be a true allegation about an individual to prospective employers or other congregations as a means to prevent predators from continuing to harm others;” and finally, one expressing support for the proposed “Love Life Amendment,” slated to be on the statewide ballot in 2020.
Messengers agreed the pro-life statement gives “our strongest possible endorsement of the Love Life Amendment and the constitutional protection it affords against unilateral actions to undo prolife laws” and urges “all eligible Louisiana Baptists to register and to vote for the Love Life Amendment and to encourage others to do likewise in order to overwhelmingly pass this 2020 ballot measure.”
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Source: Baptist Press